The World Digital Library became a reality today. This great new digital archive will be particularly useful for historians, scholars, and teachers. Lead primarily by the Library of Congress and UNESCO, with financial support from partners such as Google, Microsoft, and the Carnegie Corporation, the World Digital Library aims to “create an Internet-based, easily-accessible collection of the world’s cultural riches that would tell the stories and highlight the achievements of all countries and cultures, thereby promoting cross-cultural awareness and understanding”. The collection includes manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings, and users will be able to navigate through the digital library in seven different languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian). The collection currently contains about 1,250 artifacts, with much more to be added.
The initial collection features some very interesting and useful educational materials. Take for example the Tale of the Genji, a Japanese text from the early 11th century that’s often considered the first great novel in world literature, or these iconic Dorothea Lange photos from The Great Depression,or these images of the great Jackie Robinson. To learn more about this new digital archive, read this article from The Washington Post.